Kinesiology students present their findings on physical education

Students from assistant professor, Jason Kostrna’s research team recently presented their findings on physical education at the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference – one of the nation’s largest multi-disciplinary research conferences – to fellow students and researchers from around the state.

These students conducted research on improving mindfulness and performance in NCAA Athletics, the effects of music on exercise and enhancing motivation for exercise in elderly people.

Below are the posters and findings regarding the studies.

Poster #1:

An Independent Examination of MSPE in NCAA Athletics

Students around their research poster in FURC.

In a study to research the Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE) – an intervention designed to enhance mindfulness and improve performance of mental training – students Anamaria Astudillo, Jessenia Otalora, Sophia Sires and Aaron Addario studied two teams, a NCAA division 1 team and a non-equivalent control group. The protocol consisted of six sessions (1 – Building Mindfulness Fundamentals; 2 – Strengthening the Muscle of Attention; 3 – Stretching the Body Limits Mindfully; 4 – Embracing “What Is” in Stride; 5 – Embodying the Mindful Performer; Session 6 – Ending the Beginning) approximately every other week lasting an average of 60 minutes. Both teams were given a series of surveys that suggest that the MSPE program successfully enhanced emotional regulation and focus and reduced anxiety and focus disruption. Results on flow, shifting of attention and mindful attention require further examination.

Poster #2:

Does Noise Control Moderate the Effect of Music on Aerobic Exercise Experience

Students around around his research poster in FURC.

Extensive research has supported the positive effects of music on exercise performance, enjoyment and adherence. In this study, students Ricardo Gonzalez, Wesley Simon, Anamaria Astudillo, Jessenia Otalora and Sophia Sires found that equipment that blocks ambient noise stimuli also creates a more enjoyable exercise experience. Students reached their conclusion after randomly assigning 16 participants to either a control group or one of two experimental groups–one that listened to music and one that listened to music with noise-cancelling headphones. Measures of heart rate, rating of perceived exertion and attention were taken every minute during exercise. Findings showed participants in the noise-cancelling condition reported significantly higher levels of post-exercise enjoyment than the control condition, and non-significantly higher levels than the non-noise-cancelling condition.

Poster #3:

Enhancing Autonomous Motivation for Exercise in an Elderly Population – A Pilot Study

Students around their poster at the FURC

Exercise and physical activity are significant determinants of an individual’s lifespan and well-being. Recent efforts to improve exercise participation have attempted to use Self-Determination Theory (SDT) to increase autonomous motivation for exercise. Students Anamaria Astudillo, Ricardo Gonzalez, Wesly Simon, Blanca Palomino investigated the effects of an exercise program guided by SDT on three sedentary women who were at least 50 years old in a six-week exercise regimen focused on ensuring a comprehensive and effective physical fitness plan. During week one of the program, students measured executive functioning and functional movement ability. By week four, two participants dropped out. At the end of the study, the remaining participant presented a lower percentage body fat (28.2% vs. 23.5%), and faster Expanded Timed Get Up and Go (7.93s vs. 7.85s), but a reduced task switching efficiency via the Trail Making Test (12s vs. 38s). Further data collection is ongoing and additional variables are being collected.